online exhibition

rare book library



natural philosophy

previous page next page

Digby, Kenelm (1603-1665)
Two treatises : in the one of which, the nature of bodies ; in the other, the nature of mans soule, is looked into : in way of discovery of the immortality of reasonable soules.
London : Printed for John Williams, 1645.

Image of Digby's Two treatises, page 135

Kenelm Digby was a Catholic virtuoso, a Royalist and a natural philosopher. He met Descartes in Holland and introduced the philosopher Thomas Hobbes to Descartes' writings. Digby was an early member of the Royal Society and was famous for his alchemical recipes and the weapon salve (a salve applied to the weapon rather than the injury!). This book, the Two Treatises, is his most important. It presents a mechanistic account of the nature and motion of bodies, dealing with such issues as refraction and the movement of the heart. Digby's unique and eclectic natural philosophy has Aristotelian elements as well as showing the strong influence of Descartes.

Image 2 of Digby's Two treatises, page 140
Image 3 of Digby's Two treatises, page 141
previous page next page